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Inferno

Inferno

  

by Dante Alighieri

Inferno Themes

Inferno Themes

Primitivity

In Inferno, the most basic and most forgivable category of sin is incontinence, or a lack of self-control. The incontinent sinners constantly indulge their impulses... whether its for more ice crea...

Man and the Natural World

In Inferno, Nature’s author is God himself and anything described as natural has to honor the Divine. So, the most unnatural scenes occur in the circles of heresy and violence, where familiar or...

Lies and Deceit

While Inferno's author denounces fraud as contradicting the truth, his contempt for it runs way deeper than that. The root of fraud is linguistic sin and because man’s unique gift is language, hu...

Justice

In Dante’s Inferno, justice is not merely cruel and unusual punishment designed to elicit cheap shock from onlookers (although it does that, too). Inferno portrays God’s justice as springing fr...

Language and Communication

Language is king in Inferno... so it sucks even more to be punished by, say, having to blow bubbles of mud for all eternity. A product of the rational mind, language is considered by Dante to be a...

Wisdom and Knowledge

As the only species of all God’s children bestowed with a rational mind, humanity (woo-hoo, humanity!)—according to Dante—is obligated to properly use its God-given gift responsibly. Dante ca...

Compassion and Forgiveness

Dante considers the quality of compassion—defined as having pity for another man’s suffering—an essential human trait. Sometimes Dante’s compassion for the sinners’ plights reaches such a...

Love

Although love isn't frequently mentioned in the text of the Inferno, it is always in the back of the reader’s mind. Love’s single most surprising appearance comes at the threshold of Hell, wher...

Time

In Inferno, Hell is all about stasis, or an unchanging permanent state, on a number of levels. First, the very structure of Hell—a series of concentric circles—gives an impression of inescapabi...

Respect and Reputation

In the Inferno, sinners in Hell are totally preoccupied with achieving fame and commemoration among the living. The question of how a man is remembered after his death is a topic of serious discuss...

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